Transport and processing of nuclear waste for treatment and storage can involve unique and complex thermal and fluid dynamic conditions that pose potential for safety risk and/or design uncertainty and also are likely to be subjected to more precise performance requirements than in other industries. From an engineering analysis perspective, certainty of outcome is essential. Advanced robust methods for engineering analysis and simulation of critical processes can help reduce risk of design uncertainty and help mitigate or reduce the amount of expensive full-scale demonstration testing. This paper will discuss experience gained in applying computational fluid dynamics models to key processes for mixing, transporting, and thermal treatment of nuclear waste as part of designing a massive vitrification process plant that will convert high and low level nuclear waste into glass for permanent storage. Examples from industrial scale simulations will be presented. The computational models have shown promise in replicating several complex physical processes such as solid-liquid flows in suspension, blending of slurries, and cooling of materials at extremely high temperature. Knowledge gained from applying simulation has provided detailed insight into determining the most critical aspects of these complex processes that can ultimately be used to help guide the optimum design of waste handling equipment based on credible calculations while ensuring risk of design uncertainty is minimized.

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